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Taiwan

Iraq-Syria-Europe: On The Shifting Front Line Against ISIS

The Islamic State has been significantly weakened, at least from a military point of view, in Iraq and Syria. But the final blow keeps being postponed, even as jihadists strike in the heart of the West.

Iraqi Peshmerga fighters near Sinjar on Nov. 12
Iraqi Peshmerga fighters near Sinjar on Nov. 12
Daniel-Dylan Böhmer and Alfred Hackensberger

SINJAR — One whole day, and through the next night, American fighter jets were dropping their bombs. Countless houses, but also ISIS military positions in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, went up in smoke.

"Once they had enough, they ran off like bunnies," says the lanky young Kurdish fighter who gives his name as Daoud, and cradles a Kalashnikov in his lap. "They were hiding in their cars, using women and children as human shields."

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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